A room with a view

For six years I’ve been coming to the Rogers Centre — formerly known as SkyDome — and have failed in my attempt to get a hotel room with the view of the playing field.

That all changed today when I checked in and the woman at the front desk said, "Mr. Browne, we’ve upgraded you to a room with a view of the field." 0417071254
 You’ll see the view of what the field looks like from my room right here.

So I’m staying in right-center field, about five levels above the playing field. I had an excellent view at 2 p.m. today of Julian Tavarez throwing a simulated game and could even hear the crack of the bat when I opened my window. I resisted the temptation to watch the game from my room, though I would have had a tremendous view of Dice-K warming up the in the bullpen.

Ah well, I ended up venturing over to the park for some more Dice-K madness. What can you say? He pitched fine, except for that momentary lapse of control in the fourth inning. The Red Sox aren’t locked in at the plate yet, except, seemingly when Beckett pitches. If Matsuzaka keeps giving up three runs or less, he’s going to win a lot of games this year.

Nothing earth-shattering before the game. In a show of faith by Francona, Coco batted second tonight despite his .111 average. He wound up getting two hits. Just wondering, but would batting second on a permanent basis revive Coco? He’s a fastball hitter and he’d see a ton of fastballs hitting in front of Papi and Manny. Just food for thought.

I think I’ll venture back to my hotel room now and watch 24 from last night and see what my idol Jack Bauer is up to. Later,



I thought that you had to keep the curtains closed with those field-view rooms after the infamous situation that occurred at SkyDome several years ago, when several spectators in the stands with a view into one of the rooms got more than baseball as a show.



Real risky maneuver moving Crisp to the #2 spot tonight. You would never put a guy batting .111 in that spot, unless you are desperatly trying to jolt the system. Not working so far.

With Wily Mo batting .000, Coco’s .111 isn’t so bad. But yeah, I agree, they’d like to give Coco a kick in the butt to get him going.



Another bad decision batting Varitek ahead of Wily Mo. Wily Mo against a lefty, with a starting job on the line… will come up big. Varitek hits into a ton of DPs.

I knew it. Check the time stamp people. Wily Mo comes through. Always move your power threat higher in the lineup.

Wily Mo has shut me up. First at-bat and he launches one. Look out, Coco! Wily Mo’s coming after your .111



Readers of Sox and Pinstripes know that I am an advocate of playing Wily Mo Pena on a consistent basis. You can’t expect him to produce when he gets a few bats here and a few bats there. I would much rather see Pena in center (he plays it adequately) and Drew in right, and Crisp as a fourth outfielder and a late-inning defensive replacement.

The Yankees offense vs the Sox big three is shaping up to be a very interesting weekend. Is it fair to say if the Yankees can get the sox in high scoring games even with losses that it would still be a positive thing for when the Yankees get their rotation back for the following series?

A Rod, Mientkiewicz and Posada all homered, 8-1 top 3 off of respectable Jake Westbrook. Could be anger from that Mariano walkoff though.

What are Yankee fans being reduced to? How can any loss to your biggest rival be positive? That makes me laugh. You know what is postive about a loss? Absoluetly nothing. I wouldn’t count Cleveland out yet tonight, this is Chase Wright we are talking about. I for one want to see him pitch well so he can go up to Fenway on Sunday.

Jake Westbrook respectable? Not quite. He had a decent 2005 season, but last year he allowed 247 hits in 211 innings and his numbers were atrocious going into this game. The Yankees have no excuse not to knck him around, much like Sidney Ponson. The Yankees will have their way with marginal pitchers like Westbrook and Ponson, but what will they do against solid pitching. We got an indication this weekend in Oakland.

Positive as opposed to depressing. Obviously a loss is a loss, but there is a difference between getting outscored 47-5 on the road and playing right there with them with 4 starters on the DL on the road. Yankees fans haven’t been reduced to anything.

Jeff, are you referring to the fact that all three were lined up for victories? Convenient you point out the fact that Westbrook gave up a lot of hits in 06 but ignore that he won 15 games and had a 4.17 ERA. or, better than Beckett. His 2005 he also won 15 games but lost 15 and had a 4.49 ERA. So actually, last year was an improvement. You may be thinking of 2004 when he had a 3.38 ERA and won 14 games.

What about that isn’t respectable as a three starter, again? He’s a contact pitcher, it seems to be a growing trend that people conveniently like to discredit contact pitchers with being effective and solid.

Westbrook would have been the 2 starter on the Sox in ’06 and the 3 on the Yankees even with Johnson’s 17 wins.

In all seriousness, is there a reason for Matsuzaka’s lack of run support? Even in his win, wasn’t it something like 4-0? Is he like Wakefield where his delivery/style of pitching throws off the team’s offensive rhythm?

I really don’t see any logic in that. His delivery is slow but that has nothing to do with offensive rhythm. If that were the case then the Yankees wouldn’t give Wang run support because he has such a slow delivery. The runs will come for Dice-K, it has been only 3 starts, one of which the ’27 Yankees wouldn’t have scored a run.

I don’t agree either. I just know a lot of people say Wakefield’s pitching style throws off the rhythm of the offense.

Manny will be first up in the 9th. What a great time to get out of his shell !

Wow, Chacin now 6-0 against us? There must be something in the cologne. Seriously though it was a very well pitched game for both Dice-K and the pen against a great Jays lineup. This loss honestly does not bother me as much as a 10-8 one would.

That was a very tough loss. Sox can’t hit at all on the road. Dice-K pitched his heart out, and the offense did absolutely nothing. Terrible offensive game. The sox should’ve won with all of the chances they had. Wake is pitching tomorrow, terrific. Sox can’t score for him either. Let’s all hope Manny can get out of his shell.

Westbrook a number two starter on the Sox last year? Don’t think so. As I have mentioned several times, most of Beckett’s numbers last year were fine – namely wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and hits allowed. His ERA suffered because he tried to overpower hitters with his fastballs, which led to 36 home runs allowed. Westbrook is not in Beckett’s class. Westbrook definitely has potential, but he is far from a respectable starter. He might make the Sox staff right now as the No. 5 guy, but we would be replaced when Jon Lester returns.



That 5th inning …… Wells was out at first and Lugo should’ve caught that ball. Can’t believe they beat us on 3 hits. Dice-K lost his composure for what ? 5 minutes ? And we lose !!!

The big bats can’t let a guy like Chacin look like Cy Young against us. Now, Ohka. Hoping he won’t make a Drysdale of himself.

Sometimes, it’s not the fault of Red Sox bats, but it’s the impressive performance of the opposing starter, that results in a loss like tonight. Ditto for the Felix Hernandez masterpiece. The play at first with Wells was close, too close to say he was out. Actually, Wells shouldn’t have even had a chance to leg out that grounder. The pitch Ed Montague called outside actually hit the corner, which would have been strike three. Lugo could have made the play, but give the guy a break. He has looked good at the plate and in the field. It was a sharply hit ball. Look for the Sox bats to erupt tomorrow against Tomo Ohka.



Was just making a point : that 5th inning was a series of frustrating incidents.

And i’m not flaming Lugo. I like his play this season. I’m sure he too thinks that he should’ve made the play. Unlike you, i think that the Sox hitters made Chacin look good.

And yeah, i did forgot that 3rd strike on Wells.

Yeah, you’re right about the fifth inning. Dice-K did lose his composure, but he should have been out of the inning. Lugo definitely could have made the play. It is frustrating to lose games when your starter throws the ball well, as Dice-K has twice and Wakefield did once.

That was a WAY frustrating loss. Much more so than the Hernandez game. If anyone has ever pitched you know what a panicky feeling it is when you lose the strikezone. You feel kind of helpless and it takes a huge mental effort to get it back. But Dice-K did, and someone on his team should have picked him up, done SOMETHING to wake up the team or throw Chacin off his game. It seemed that the Sox were just going through the motions a little bit. Make an out, go sit on the bench.
Maybe Tito could have pulled an Earl Weaver move and caused a big scene to throw Chacin’s rhythm off. My point is: don’t just sit there while your team loses. Throw a temper tantrum ala Paul O’Neill. Try something different. They always wait for Papi to bail them out.

Had to get that out of my system.

dice-k 3-3 in quality starts (is that 2 or 3 runs allowed?). either way hes gone at least 6 innings in all 3 starts and if they would score he could very well be 3-0.

All great pitchers screw up sometimes, remember when Pedro had outing like dice-k’s?

That game made me so frustrated… Whats the point of spending 103 million if he does what he is paid to do but we dont score? they say pitching wins championships… but the bats are somewhere in that equation as well….

I think it is about time to call Coco a bust. I don’t believe it matters where he is hitting in the lineup, his struggles are going to continue. With so many great center fielders out there, I say it is time to start looking for a trade and throw in a Delcarmen or Gabbard. Or another alternative would be to promote Ellsbury. He would be a great #2 hitter (probably one of the fastest in the game). He would bring much needed speed to our lineup. I know it may be too early to bring him up, but let me know what you think…

The Red Sox have a long history of winning blow outs and losing close games. Thats why our stats always come out good at the end of the year, and our run differential is usually very good, but we don’t win enough games. I’m just used to seeing 4-3 losses, not the type where an entire team doesn’t show up at all (already 4 games with 1 or fewer runs). I guess we’ll have to keep on looking on the bright side (pitching) until our bats wake up.

I just dont understand how the sox could put crisp up to number two last night. i was at the game and i know he hit a double but to me they were coming off sweeping the angels and the offence was doing great. I just dont know why francona would mess around with that. J.D should have also started

Bottom line that bad inning for Daisuke shouldnt even of happened because Lowell had Wells at first and Lugo has to come up with that double play ball. I wont hold a grudge though

As die hard sox fans, sometimes we have trouble recognizing their real weaknesses. Their offense is very average (even though we have two of the AL’s top hitters) and just won’t score enough runs consistently. There is a solutions though, TODD HELTON. We had the right idea way back when. We should have given up Hansen and Delcarmen. The Rockies are gonna bend us over, but we should do whatever it takes to add another significant offensive piece. Todd Helton is a perfect fit for our team.

The way your offense plays is exactly how the yankees defense plays right now. It is a frustrating feeling, but seeing how Manny is hitting .205 and Jeter leads the team and league in errors, I sense both straighten out eventually.

Meanwhile, Jeff, Gustavo Chacin is a mediocre pitcher, he pitched a masterpiece against the sox, that does not make him a great pitcher, that makes the Sox a struggling and inconsistant offense, so it is not an excuse to say he threw well and you ran into a well pitched game, that is a reflection on your own team’s offense.

Just like I don’t think anybody should bury the Yankees staff until it is healthy within the next two weeks, nobody should bury the Sox offense until it is proven inconsistant come maybe mid-May.

And in case anybody here is interested:


Beckett- Karstens

Matsuzaka- Wright

That is according to Pete Abe’s blog, and I would think is official. Around 5 o clock you can read my thoughts on this on http://www.soxandpinstripes.com if you so desire.

i agree with Chacin being mediocre thats actually exactly what he is and Daisuke out pitched him anyway we just need the bats to start warming up bad.

boomer8869, i think the reason why Crisp was hitting 2 is because Tito wants to be fair with him by giving him a real chance to deliver, before giving the job to Wily Mo.

Wily Mo can’t play infield. JD Drew and Manny are untouchable in outfield. And so is Ortiz at DH spot. That leaves Crisp. So the way i see it, Crisp has to protect his job, and it’s not by hitting 8th with Pedroia on deck that a guy has a real chance to perform.

One way or another, i think there is ( or will be ) a real battle for the 3rd outfield spot. However, if Wily Mo wins the job, i think he’d be better suited as a rightfielder.

Maybe i’m wrong, maybe Tito is pleased with that offensive production. Or maybe Crisp will regain his 2005 form when with the Indians. The next 2 or 3 series will tell.

ya i agree with that and i see your point but if he doesnt start to warm up at all id like to see him at the bottom. dont get me wrong either i do like Coco because i think hes great on defence. He can track down balls really well and is a solid center fielder. He is also a good stealing threat but he really needs to start gettin on base. the main reason i said that anyway is because our number two hitter has to get on base for ortiz and manny to do.. well we all know what they do

Crisp, Hinske, and ??? for Ichiro. Move Drew to center, Ichiro to right. Replaces Crisps speed, improves hitting at top of line-up. Promblem solved. Makes transition for Dice-K easier.

Yeah and it’s kind of ironic that the night Coco did get on base, Papi and Manny were hitting like 8th and 9th hitters !!! LOL

Crisp was probably saying : “what a guy should do to score a run here !”

i agree with that. but we also have to be realistic here i dont know if seattle will ever let go of ichiro

Do you feel moving Drew to center would make him more injury proned though?

Is it just me, or is Hideki Okajima awesome? I know it’s still early, but he’s been great so far in spring training and in the season.

About Drew’s risky move, good point, especially those hamstrings.

But i think Drew reached a point in his career where he’s smarter with the way he runs and fields. I gotta say i would be a little nervous though, since his partners ( Pena and Manny ) wouldn’t exactly be Andrew Jones and Tori Hunter (!). So he’d have to cover a lot of ground.

About Okaji, you’re right. I think he’s becoming a force in the bullpen. Will he serve more as a set up man, a middle reliever or a specialist, we’ll see. I’d go with the first. The latter would be a waste of talent.

Speaking of Drew’s health, does anyone know how bad was his knee injury and when did it happened ?

Ichiro is getting older, if they were to get a good enough deal, they would go for it.

The Red Sox offense is unbearable right now.

Its is too bad that the sox are posting a team 2.68 ERA, but te offense isn’t improving.

Clement-Crisp-Hinske for Ichiro?

rsjones, if the Mariners GM makes that deal, i’m sure he’s fired before the 3 Sox land in Seattle !!!

Okay Okay.

No offense, was just kidding.

We’re now in Pap’s zone, everyone. Unless we score another run, wich would be good too.

Nice win tonight with a somewhat shaky ninth, by his standards, for Pap. Still though the guy has 9 k’s in 4 and a third innings. He should get tommorrow off b/c he threw 21 pitches, tomorrow’s day game and the upcoming series with NY. And Wake continues to amaze plus the bats decided to wake up tonight. Never would have thought Dougie would be playing this much better than Tek.

Papelbon’s amazing. A little rusty but he strikes out the side. And WAKE! You go TW!!
Vince, I agree with your assessment of the Sox offense, NYY defense, and the fact that Chacin is not all that great. GC IS in the Sox’ heads right now and that’s why I was so frustrated yesterday because they looked resigned to losing again to him. But to give credit where it is due, the Yanks’ pitching subs are giving a good acount of themselves. This year could be real fun in the AL east with the way it’s shaping up.

I still say the Sox need a power hitting corner infeilder. The outfeild should be OK, Crisp will come around IMO, and if not WMP can hit if he gets a chance. But the real shortage is another RBI guy.

I’ve been following the Sox for 40 years and I have never seen them pitch so well, both starters and bullpen. Yes, I know the season is young but there is so much talent. That’s why I cringe so much when they let these great starts go for naught. Drives me nuts.

Arnieschmo is definitly right the pitchig is absolutly terrific. An AL leading 2.68 ERA, domination in the rotation four men down, a bullpen that inculdes the so far lights out Okaji, Donelly, and Paps. GREAT!

This weekend series with the Yanks will be awesome. The best pitching staff(so far) against the best offense(to date). Reminds me of the super bowl NY Giants vs. Buffalo Bills- Immovable defense against the Unstoppable offense. Could be one of the memorable series of the modern age. Not that I would over-hype it or anything.

No need to move Drew to center. Wily Mo can play the position well. I would like to see Wily Mo hitting sixth or seventh, and in the lineup on a consistent basis. Let Crisp serve as a spot starter and a late-inning defensive replacement. I would rather see the Sox acquire Todd Helton than Ichiro. Jacoby Ellsbury will be ready for 2008 and he is going to be a special player in center field and at the plate. We could use Helton more than Ichiro.



the red sox offense has so major holes and the addition of jd drew seems diminshed when they walk him to pitch to varitek. Do you think the sox make a move for offense. Do you think they need to

When is Manny going to start being Manny?

I’m all for some level of patience… but we can’t have 4 guys batting below .200 in the lineup and expect to have a shot.

Varitek has to be sent down in the lineup until he figures it out. Hinske/Pena should be ahead for now.

What is Gibbons thinking taking out Halladay and his rubber arm. I hope they can take advantage, 5 outs left to work with.

I guess that answers my question.

FINALLY!! Manny comes through. Gibbons with the very questionable decision bites him in the rear. Now its a battle of the bullpens.

Another inning, another save. Throw 2 more k’s in there which makes 11 in 5 and a third. That is 19 k’s per 9 innings. Wow, he is the best in the game hands down right now. The Sox need to use him with care though, we can not afford an injury to him. Great comeback win, and now all our focus goes into the Yanks…

Great comeback win is right!
But do you think Tito could have used Donnelly to close with a 2 run lead and save Pap’s arm. Not to mention the Yanks tomorrow. But a lot of good will come from this, I think, in terms of confidence.

I was surprised too to see Paps in there. He threw 21 yesterday and now 26 today. I thouhgt we were going to stay away from back to back games for him. Definetly won’t pitch tomorrow when we may need him more (ie-Up 1 with Abreu, ARod and Giambi due).

To second guess my second guessing, this is not a game the Sox could afford to lose, so maybe some other pitcher comes in and the Jays get a couple runners on and Pap has to come in anyway, then you have two guys who maybe can’t pitch tomorrow. But still, Tito has to have confidence in somebody in the bullpen to close out a game besides Pap. Donnelly, Okajima have been great.

Jonathon Papelbon is discusting. He is the definition of lights out and i think they had to use him today. They needed to be going in to tommorows game with a win. Hopefully the bats wake up a bit more tommorow and we dont need him.

Great comeback. That’s just what Manny needed with the Yankees looming. I really hope Willy Mo gets the nod in center tomorrow. We will need all the offense we can get. I’ll be happy taking 2 out of 3. Can’t wait to see Schill brush A-rod off the plate.

I agree that Wily Mo Pena should see more at-bats in place of Coco Crisp. More than half of the Sox is in a slump. Only Lugo, Lowell, Ortiz and Drew are hitting. And the Sox are still 9-5, atop the AL East. There is no reason to panic. The Sox haven’t even scratched the surface of how talented they will be this season. They have the best rotation in baseball, and a reliable bullpen. Pedroia is hitting the ball hard. He will start getting his hits, as will Youkilis and Manny. Varitek is a concern, and though Crisp has hit the ball a little better in recent days, I still think that Pena should start in center field. Regardless, the Sox have a superb rotation, one that will ensure the team does not endure a losing strek longer than a few games. That, itself, translates into a very successful season.



Is somebody going to wake up Ian and tell him there is a Red Sox / Yankees series starting tonight?

While they are at at… they might as well wake up A-Rod too.

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